Monday, May 08, 2006

Walk America

I've posted pictures of Bryan Otis on here before. Next weekend is the March of Dimes Walk America, and even though it's my honeymoon weekend, Erin and I are walking to support Bryan Otis. Heck, even Jaden was in the NICU in Springfield, but thinking back that is completely overshadowed by Bryan's story (no relation to the former Bears running back's story).

Here is a story that Jessie has sent out asking for donations for the walk. She did a great job telling the story, so I have reproduced it here for you. I still need to raise my $ so instead of sending you to her site I will also post mine:

Hello my name is Jessica Squires and I am participating in the March of Dimes Walk America and donations are needed. March of Dimes helps save the lives of many babies born premature. I would like to tell you why I am walking. I am a mother of a little boy who was born to be a “micro preemie”. He was born on September 1st 2005 and his due date wasn’t until Christmas day. So you don’t have to do the math, he was born at 23 week and 5 days, almost 16 weeks early. I had the perfect pregnancy. I never had morning sickness and felt fine. On August 17th I was 21 weeks pregnant and went to my doctors appointment for my second ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. I was having a boy and was so excited. The nurse went out of the room to look at it and being this my first pregnancy I thought nothing of it. The doctor came in to tell me that I had fluid in my cervix and that I need to go meet my ob. At this point I was worried about not being able to work or go to school because of bed rest. My fiancĂ© and I were both young and not in the position for me not to be working. When I we arrived at my ob’s office we were told that my cervix was thinning and that I needed to be on bed rest and sent to St. John’s Hospital for a quick check. Well my quick check ended up being 2 ½ weeks in the Trendelinburg position (my feet higher than my head so I wasn’t putting pressure on my cervix). We had doctors for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) coming to tell us the chances for survival for the baby at that point and that we had to make the decision of weather we wanted them to revive him or if we just wanted to hold him and tell
him how much we loved him and goodbye to a boy that I never had a chance to meet. I felt hopeless and that I was doing all I could be doing for him. We prayed every night to make it one more week, just one more. One day in the womb is like two days out. That day came when I had my baby boy Bryan Otis Leonard. I had him on the same day that my grandfather died two years earlier, September 1st 2005. He weighed 1lbs 5oz and was 113/4 in. long. We spent 4 months and 20 days in the NICU and came home on January 20th of this year. Today he is 7 months old weighing about 11lbs and 22in long. He was been in and out of the hospital since we have been home from the NICU from his lungs and eating problems, but he is alive and almost where he should be development wise. One thing you have to think about a baby born so premature is that you have to think of them by their corrective age. His corrective age is 3months and he acts like one. He is a little behind, but that is because of hospital stays. He had a level two bleed in his brain, but these have resolved and right now we don’t know if he will have any mental handicaps and won’t until he is older. If it wasn’t for the wonderful NICU staff and the March of Dimes foundation my baby wouldn’t be with us today. We thank everyone who has helped us get through this. Saving the lives of premature babies has come a long way. Just a few years ago babies born before 24 weeks wouldn’t even be taken up to save. Just think of the progress they have made already and what could happen within just a few more years. This is just my story and there are so many other babies that are a lot worse off than Bryan. Please help the March of Dimes and donate. Every little bit helps. You can donate on line at Thank you for reading our story and for your consideration and I ask if you will please tell you family and friends about March of Dimes. Thank you very much for your help.